By MATT PIKE/AP
St. Joseph Post
Missouri Western falls in overtime in Joplin, awaits bowl fate
Missouri Western led until the fourth quarter before giving up 14 points to Missouri Southern and having to go to two overtimes where a late interception set the Lions up for a game winning touchdown. Read our full game recap HERE.
Northwest closes out regular season with big Senior Day win over UNK
The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats closed out the regular season with a dominant offensive performance, blowing out the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers 56-7 in Maryville on Saturday.
The Bearcats held the Lopers off the scoreboard until early in the fourth quarter, Nebraska-Kearney taking a kickoff back for a touchdown after Northwest pushed the lead to 49-0.
Northwest scored two touchdowns in each quarter of the game, the first score coming just two plays into the first quarter after the Bearcats recovered a fumbled kickoff by Nebraska-Kearney, Northwest running a no huddle offense for running back Jay Harris to rush in from three yards out.
The Northwest defense would again get the ball back on the ensuing Loper drive, intercepting quarterback Sean Johnson Jr., and setting up a nine play drive that ended with quarterback Mike Hohensee connecting with wide receiver Keegan Sturdy for a three yard score.
Following a missed field goal attempt from Northwest kicker Noah Guastella and a Nebraska-Kearney three and out to open the second quarter, the Bearcats would score again on an 11 play drive, Hohensee again finding Sturdy for a 12 yard score.
With a 21-0 lead the Northwest defense would again strike on the next Loper drive, forcing a Johnson Jr. fumble and recovering the ball at the Nebraska-Kearney 29 yard line, three plays later Hohensee connecting with Jackson Miller for his lone catch of the day, a 20 yard touchdown.
The score would stand at 28-0 going into halftime and until midway through the third quarter when the Bearcats would strike again. Taking over with 7:57 on the clock, Northwest would consume nearly four minutes on seven plays before Hohensee would throw his fourth touchdown of the game, connecting with Kashan Griffin for a nine yard score.
Northwest would score again one drive later, forcing a Nebraska-Kearney punt to the Northwest 36 yard line, the drive starting with an 18 yard pass from Hohensee to Trevon Alexander, setting up Harris to break off a 46 yard rushing score.
The Bearcats would push their lead to 49-0 early in the final quarter, this time thanks to the defense. With Nebraska-Kearney facing a 2nd and 32 at their own eight yard line, following two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, quarterback TJ Davis was intercepted by Rhett Jordon who returned the ball 14 yards for the score.
That's when the Loper special teams unit would strike back. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Northwest forced the Bearcats to kickoff from the 20 yard line, and after fielding the ball at the Nebraska Kearney 21 yard line, Darrius Jackson returned the kickoff 79 yards for the Lopers lone score of the game.
The Bearcats would finish off their scoring on the next drive, using 10 plays to drive down the field, ending the drive with a three yard rushing score from redshirt freshman William Wentric III.
Harris made Northwest history during the game after rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Harris is the only Bearcat in school history to rush for 100 yards or more in every game of the season.
Through the air Hohensee was 17 of 27 for 185 yards and four touchdowns. Three different receivers scored in the game. Sturdy (58 yards and two touchdowns) and Griffin (57 yards and one touchdown) each had five catches on the day.
Northwest ends the season with a record of 7-4. It's the first time since 2003 that the Bearcats will not qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs, snapping a streak of 18 straight years making the playoffs.
Late Mid America Nazarene touchdown upsets #14 Benedictine
MidAmerica Nazarene came into Atchison, Kansas on Senior Day and spoiled the #14 Benedictine Ravens regular season finale, the Pioneers scoring the go ahead touchdown with 21 seconds remaining to win 38-31.
The win for MidAmerica Nazarene secured a three way tie for the Heart South championship between Benedictine, MidAmerica Nazarene, and Baker. All three were 4-1 in Heart South play and no one team beat the other two, making them Tri-champs.
The Pioneers jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points. After both teams exchanged punts to begin the game, MidAmerica Nazarene quarterback Adrian Parsons needed just one play to go 96 yards to Arlandes Mitchell for a touchdown.
One drive later Mitchell another score, this time on the ground, rushing in from three yards out. On the very next Pioneers offensive drive, Parsons again found Mitchell on a long touchdown pass, this time from 37 yards away.
Down big early the Ravens took over with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter and began their comeback on a long drive that carried into the second quarter. A 10 play, 60 yard drive, ended with quarterback Jackson Dooley finding Tanner Zimmerman on a five yard touchdown pass, chipping into the Pioneers lead making it 21-7.
MidAmerica Nazarene responded on their next drive after 13 plays, but only with a 49 yard field goal from Trevor Highley. The Ravens also answered that score with a field goal of their own, Harry Balke converting from 26 yards away.
Benedictine narrowed the lead again just before the end of the first half in big part thanks to a 75 yard punt return from JaShawn Todd. Starting the drive at the MidAmerica Nazarene 16 yard line, the Ravens needed just three plays for Dooley to connect with Jacob Gathright on a 15 yard score, narrowing the lead to 24-17 at halftime.
Getting the ball to start the second half, the Ravens drove and tied up the game to help put a new energy into the team. An eight play drive saw Dooley connect with Zimmerman on a 15 yard touchdown pass, giving Dooley three touchdown passes in the game, two of those to Zimmerman.
The game remained deadlocked until the fourth quarter, when the Pioneers took the lead back early in the final quarter as Parsons threw his third touchdown of the game, this time connecting with Paul Saint Louis on a 26 yard touchdown pass, pushing the lead to 31-24.
From there it was an uphill battle for the Ravens as the MidAmerica Nazarene locked down until late in the quarter, even blocking a field goal attempt from Balke in the process.
Benedictine took over with 3:18 left in the game, looking for a tie and attempting to use much of the clock, driving 88 yards on 10 plays to score on a three yard touchdown pass from Dooley to Joesph Lagafuaina, tying the game again with 54 seconds left on the clock.
The Pioneers went on to takeover on offense with 51 seconds after a 29 yard kickoff return, slowly moving down the field until Parsons found Myles Hymes on a 13 yard touchdown pass, putting MidAmerica Nazarene up 38-31 with 21 seconds remaining.
The Ravens would make one last ditch effort to end the game, but ran out of time after Dooley completed a three yard pass to Todd. Todd attempted to lateral the ball, trying to work the ball downfield, but Benedictine was swallowed by the Pioneers defense, ending the game.
Dooley struggled with accuracy on the game, going 25 of 44 through the air, passing for 248 yards and four touchdowns. Dooley's leading receiver was Zimmerman with seven catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Dalton Witherspoon rushed 15 times for 117 yards.
Benedictine finishes the regular season 8-3 (4-1 Heart South). They now await their playoff fate and will find that out tonight as the NAIA Football Championship Selection Show is scheduled at 6 p.m.
The Selection Shows are streamed through the NAIA's official YouTube Channel.
Cody Schrader runs wild for #14 Missouri in upset over #13 Tennessee
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The first time Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz spent serious time with Cody Schrader was after the walk-on running back arrived on campus, gambling that the talent that made him a Division II star would transfer to college football's highest level.
On Saturday night, it produced one of the finest games in school history.
Schrader ran for 205 yards and a touchdown, caught five passes for 116 yards and led the No. 16 Tigers to a 36-7 rout of No. 14 Tennessee that ended a four-game losing streak in the series.
“One of the things that gets lost in his story is he’s a talented player," Drinkwitz said. “He has this stubborn refusal to quit.”
Schrader’s 321 yards from scrimmage were 12 shy of the school record set by Devin West in 1998.
“The whole recipe of this whole thing is work,” Schrader said. “You have to be able to hit a person in the mouth for four quarters, and either they're going to fold or I'm going to fold. And I'm determined not to fold.”
Schrader had plenty of help. Brady Cook shredded the Vols for 275 yards passing and accounted for two TDs. Luther Burden III had a touchdown reception that basically sealed the outcome, and Daylan Carnell closed it out for the Tigers (8-2, 4-2 SEC, No. 14 CFP) with a 38-yard pick-6 against one of their biggest nemeses.
The Volunteers (7-3, 3-3 SEC, No. 13) had outscored them 128-48 in their two games with coach Josh Heupel on the sideline.
“This is the first time I beat them since I've been here,” Tigers cornerback Jaylon Carlies said. “This is a huge one for us.”
Missouri’s win clinched the SEC East for No. 1 Georgia before it even took the field against No. 10 Ole Miss on Saturday night. The Bulldogs will face eighth-ranked Alabama in the conference title game on Dec. 2 in Atlanta.
The Vols' Joe Milton III threw for 267 yards with a touchdown and an interception against Missouri. But he got little help from a penalty-prone offense and one of the nation's best running attacks, which finished with 83 yards on 23 carries.
The Vols prefer to run plays quicker than a blink, and that high-octane offense usually leads to some gaudy numbers. But when the Tigers forced equally quick punts, the Tennessee defense exhausted itself with long stretches on the field.
Missouri prefers to play quickly, too. But it controlled the ball instead, holding it for all but 1:45 of the first quarter and more than 21 minutes of the first half. That further exhausted the Tennessee defense and resulted in a 13-7 halftime lead.
It should have been 10-7 — or closer — but the Vols' Jaylen Wright fumbled in Missouri territory with 20 seconds left. Schrader promptly ran for 35 yards and, after two more plays, Harrison Mevis kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired.
Missouri ran 42 plays for 300 yards in the half; Tennessee ran 23 for 201.
“It's still a one-possession game,” Heupel said. “Got to be willing to come out and play hard and we didn't get that done.”
Indeed, the Tigers extended their lead with an 80-yard touchdown march in the third quarter, then took advantage of a dropped pass by Tennessee and personal foul on the Vols' Omarr Norman-Lott to add a field goal a few minutes later.
The Vols had a chance to make a big stop to start the fourth quarter, when the Tigers were leading 22-7 and facing third-and-10 at their own 1. But when Cook rolled out, he saw a yawning gap in the Vols' defense and ran 24 yards for a first down.
That was costly. This was costlier: When the Vols did get the ball back, Milton had his throwing arm knocked by one of his own teammates. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass, but replays showed it was a fumble and recovery by Missouri, giving Schrader and Co. the ball back with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
The Tigers added Burden's touchdown catch to make it 29-7, and Carnell's interception got the party going at Faurot Field.
“End of the day,” Heupel said, “you’re going to have to live with this one for a while.”
Missouri lost leading tackle Ty'Ron Hopper to an injury in the first half, but everyone else stepped up. The Vols had a season-best 650 yards on offense in a 59-3 rout of UConn last week but were shut down on Saturday night.
Missouri plays its home finale against Florida on Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 6:30pm and the game will be aired on ESPN.
Kansas State bounces back from Texas loss by blowing out Baylor
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Will Howard became the all-time leader in touchdown passes in Kansas State history, leading the Wildcats past Baylor 59-25 on Saturday afternoon.
“It's an unbelievable honor,” he said. “If you would have told an 18-year-old Will Howard who threw three picks at West Virginia that he'd be standing here (in this position), he would have told you you were crazy.
"It still really hasn't sunk in yet. It's crazy to think about.”
Howard was 19-of-29 for 235 yards and three touchdowns. He moved past Josh Freeman with 45 career touchdown passes. It was Howard's fifth game this season with at least three TD passes, tying Freeman for the school record.
The fact that Howard is in this place is a testimony to perseverance. He was booed frequently early in his career when he backed up Skylar Thompson and Adrian Martinez. Now he's the unquestioned leader of the K-State offense.
“With all the stuff I've had to deal with here, I'm privileged to be in the position I'm in,” he said. “It means the world. I'm floored.”
Kansas State (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) has scored at least 40 points in all six home games (6-0) this season.
“A great performance by our guys today,” coach Chris Klieman said. “Our guys came to play today.
"We had two defensive touchdowns. We had four stops on fourth down and four turnovers. When you have eight (takeaways) it's hard to beat you.”
Blake Shapen was 22-of-45 for 253 yards and four touchdowns for Baylor (3-7, 2-5 Big 12).
“I'm just way frustrated and upset,” Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. “My comments to the team were, ‘This is bottom. You can’t get any worse than this, with the score and the feeling you have.”
K-State extended its 35-13 halftime lead early in the third quarter on a 33-yard field goal by Chris Tennant.
Shapen hit Drake Dabney for a 63-yard touchdown. After a pair of laterals, Shapen found Dabney, who eluded the K-State defense. The Wildcats responded with a nine-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, capped by Treshaun Ward's 4-yard run.
Keenan Garber then picked off Shapen and returned it 45 yards for a pick-6.
“I never would have thought my first one would come on defense,” said Garber, who began his career as a receiver but never scored a touchdown before Saturday. “Once I saw the quarterback come my way, I knew (the ball) was coming my way. I made a good read on it and followed through with the catch.”
K-State took the opening kickoff and scored on a 19-yard screen pass from Howard to DJ Giddens, capping a 12-play, 81-yard drive. But Baylor responded immediately with a five-play, 72-yard drive to tie it when Shapen found Dawson Pendergrass for a 13-yard touchdown.
Howard found Ben Sinnott in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown as the Wildcats regained the lead, 14-7.
Desmond Purnell scored a defensive touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7. Cody Stufflebean hit Shapen from behind, forcing a fumble that Purnell picked up and ran 15 yards untouched into the end zone.
“Coach (defensive coordinator Joe) Klanderman called a great blitz,” Stufflebean said. “For some reason they slid off of me and I came free on the edge and just got home.”
Howard then plunged in from the 1-yard line on fourth down early in the second quarter to add to the lead. Things only got worse for Baylor. Palmer Williams fumbled the snap on a punt and was tackled at the 2. Howard then found Christian Moore on a 2-yard pass for a 35-7 lead with 13:07 left in the half. Howard's third TD pass of the game gave him the career mark.
The Wildcats still have a chance to defend their conference championship. If they win out, there are plenty of tiebreakers that could put them in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 2.
The Wildcats will face in-state rival Kansas in Lawrence. Kickoff time and where the game will be aired is to be determined.
Texas Tech upsets #19 Kansas despite Jayhawks comeback effort
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Gino Garcia hit a game-winning 30-yard field goal with 3 seconds to play and Texas Tech upset No. 19 Kansas 16-13 on Saturday as the Jayhawks struggled after losing quarterback Jason Bean in the first half.
Behren Morton completed passes of 16, 14 and 32 yards as Texas Tech went 63 yards in 20 seconds to set up the game-deciding kick.
“Those were day one installs,” Morton said. “Jerand (Bradley) went up and got that last ball and I just tried to put it where only he could get it.”
Tahj Brooks ran for 133 yards and a touchdown as the Red Raiders (5-5, 4-3 Big 12) came back after Kansas (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) tied the game on a 22-yard field goal by Seth Keller with 26 seconds left in regulation.
“We go up against our defense every day so I had faith they'd do the job,” Brooks said. “They came up big for us with those stops.”
Texas Tech stopped Kansas after they had several chances to score inside the 10-yard line and take the lead.
“We battled and found a way to tie it up late but credit them for driving down the field,” Kansas coach Lance Leipold said. “Our defense found a way to get stops and responded well when challenged. Offensively, I don’t think we ever fully got set today.”
Texas Tech opened a 10-0 lead in the first quarter as Brooks scored early in a 5-yard TD run. Garcia added a 32-yard field goal late in the quarter.
The Red Raiders extended their lead to 13-0 early in the third quarter on Garcia's second field goal before Kansas got back in the game on a Devin Neal 60-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The Jayhawks marched 71 yards later in the fourth quarter and got within three points on a 24-yard field goal by Keller. He tied the game late but Texas Tech found a way to win as Morton was 19 of 25 for 176 yards.
Bean went down with an injury in the second quarter and returned for just one drive the rest of the game. Cole Ballard finished up and was 9 of 20 for 124 yards and an interception.
Texas Tech is a win away from being bowl eligible.
“We haven't been able to win on the road this year, we've played well, but haven't got many wins to show for it,” Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire said. “Kansas is a good team and now we need one more win to make it to a bowl.”
Without their quarterback, Kansas struggled to move the ball and had its Big 12 Conference hopes smashed.
Kansas plays host to Kansas State. Kickoff time and where the game will be aired is to be determined.
Maryland kicks walk off field goal as turnovers plague Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Jack Howes made a 24-yard field goal as time ran out to lift Maryland to a 13-10 win over Nebraska on Saturday.
Maryland’s victory, its first since late September, snapped a four-game losing streak and made the Terrapins (6-4, 3-4 Big Ten) bowl eligible. Nebraska (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) dropped its second straight game and must still win one of its last two games to play in a bowl for the first time since 2016.
“This feeling is not like anything else in sports,” Howes said after his first game-winning kick since high school. “I kind of missed it for a little bit, but I’m glad it’s back.”
Nebraska turned the ball over on three consecutive fourth-quarter possessions, the final one Tarheeb Still’s interception of No. 3 quarterback Chubba Purdy in the end zone with 3:37 left. That set up Maryland’s 12-play, 75-yard winning drive.
“The last drive, I think, we played very smart, running the ball,” said Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. “We had a lot of time on the clock and just being conscious of the time. The O-line working their butts off. It just kept punching and kept working. They really did the job for us.”
The last-second win, Maryland coach Michael Locksley said, was a result of perseverance.
“They found a way to get it done and fought through some adversity because it wasn’t pretty today,” he said. “Our offense made plays when we needed to make plays. Our quarterback did a tremendous job on that last drive and put us in position to go win it. I can’t give enough credit to our defense. They created a bunch of turnovers. They kept playing with their back against the wall and when we needed them to get us the ball back they got us the ball back”
Maryland players described the postgame locker-room atmosphere as euphoric. For Nebraska, the feeling was quite the opposite.
"For it to go back and forth like that and have the ball at the end with a chance to take the lead with three minutes left, and to have that interception happen, to turn around and have a big run and a pass interference on third and long — obviously extremely disappointing,” said Nebraska coach Matt Rhule.
All of Nebraska’s turnovers were forced by the Terrapin secondary, who came into Saturday’s game focused on takeaways.
“The last games we haven’t played as well defensively as we want to,” said defensive back Dante Trader Jr., who had a pair of picks. “This week, coaches told us to get back to the standard. It’s all in the fine detail that we’re trying to do to win games. You've got to get to takeaways, to go out there and do what we did.”
Purdy, the younger brother of San Francisco 49er quarterback Brock Purdy, came into the game after No. 2 quarterback Jeff Sims’ fumble was turned into a Maryland field goal that tied the game at 10.
Sims’ second turnover, an interception, set the Terrapins up to take the lead. But Roman Hemby gave it back to Nebraska with a fumble on the 3-yard line.
Purdy drove the Huskers 90 yards to the Maryland 5 yard line before throwing the interception.
Maryland got the game’s only first-half score. After stopping Nebraska on fourth down late in the second quarter, the Terps struck quickly with a pair of Tagovailoa passes to Tai Felton, the first a 53-yard shot down the middle, and the second a 16-yarder down the sideline for a touchdown.
Nebraska got on the board early in the third quarter, when, after recovering a Maryland fumble at the Terps 27, the Huskers ran six straight times. Fullback Janiran Bonner went 2 yards around right end for the score.
Picking off Tagovailoa on the first play of Maryland’s next possession, Nebraska failed to move the ball, taking the lead on a 38 yard Tristan Alvano field goal.
Maryland appeared to be on its way to answering the Nebraska score, marching 58 yards down the field. But the Husker defense stuffed Antwain Littleton on a fourth-and-1 run at the NU 17, ending the drive.
Tagovailoa passed for 283 yards with one interception. Nebraska’s three quarterbacks, including starter Heinrich Haarberg, who left the game with an injury, were 10 of 21 for just 86 yards with four interceptions.
The Terrapins, who had 101 yards on the ground, were just the second team to rush for more than 100 yards against the Nebraska defense this season.
Nebraska now has an FBS-high 27 turnovers and a minus-14 turnover margin.
Nebraska visits Wisconsin on Saturday. Kickoff time and where the game will be aired is to be determined.